Thursday, December 31, 2015

Links To End 2015

Here are some things going on, as the current year draws to a close:

From Business Insider, who credit the Associated Press as their source, a residential skyscraper in Dubai has become a real life towering inferno.  (See also the report at Hot Air.)

From Tech Crunch, how to deal with the shortage of data scientists.

From World Net Daily, Washington state allows transgender men into women's bathrooms.

The New York Post offers four New Year's resolutions that "you can actually keep".

From, Donald Trump (R) declares victory over Hillary Clinton (D) on the sexism front.

From The Washington Post, three top advisers of Ben Carson (R) have resigned.

From CNN, yesterday was unusually warm at the North Pole.

From The Straits Times, German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls the influx of refugees into Germany an "opportunity".

National Review asks, "Why would anyone want a firearm?"

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, incoming Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente will bring along his offensive coordinator from his former employer.

From Fox News, starting tomorrow, Texans can open carry their handguns.

From, and the "you can't make this up" department, at an anti-violence rally in Newark, a fight breaks out.  (via Fox News)

From Zero Hedge, who list Market News as their source, the American economy has entered a manufacturing recession.

From the Washington Examiner, the State Department has released 5,500 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails.

From The Washington Free Beacon, the Chinese defense ministry confirms that it has conducted a test on a rail-mobile ICBM.

From Bizpac Review, Donald Trump has drawn the support of John Wayne's daughter.

From The Hill, the recently-passed omnibus spending bill includes "climate aid" to developing nations.

From the Daily Mail, a man in New York state has been arrested for "supporting ISIS" and planning to attack a restaurant.  (via Twitchy)

From The New York Times, the year in weirdness.

And from, one last award for retiring Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer.

So with that, Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Self-Identified Worshiper Charged With Arson At Mosque

The person charged with setting fire to a mosque in Houston on December 25 is someone who claimed to have worshiped at that mosque.  Gary Nathaniel Moore of Houston was arrested and charged this morning.

Read more at Click2Houston, Houston Public Media, ABC13 and Chron.

Bill Cosby Charged With Sexual Assault

It looks like some of his past actions may have caught up with Mr. Bill (in this case, not Bill Clinton).  Entertainer Bill Cosby has been charged in Pennsylvania with sexual assault, from an incident that allegedly took place in 2004.  The state has a 12-year statute of limitations on that type of offense.

Read more at CNN, People, The New York Times, the New York Daily News and Variety.

This Is Your Body, In Outer Space

Space, the final frontier, can be hazardous to your health.  Before you go dreaming about being the next Captain Kirk or Luke Skywalker, listen to what real astronaut Leland Melvin has to say, in this video posted in Popular Mechanics.

For more information, click on the above link.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Alabama Governor's Beachfront House To Be Repaired

The state of Alabama is using money received from BP in the settlement over their 2010 oil spill to repair a beachfront gubernatorial mansion, which was not damaged by the oil spill, but by Hurricane Danny back in 1997.  This house, from what I can tell, is not the personal property of Governor Robert Bentley, but is owned by the state, so this does not appear to be a case of embezzlement.  But it's still curious that money granted because of the oil spill can be used to repair something that was not damaged thereby.

Read more at Al(dot)com and Russia Today.

Drone Registration System Gets Overwhelmed

This story comes from The Daily Signal and the "be careful what you ask for" department.  After the Federal Aviation Administration required the owners of drones to register them, their registration page couldn't handle the resulting flood of applications.  From TDS:
The Federal Aviation Administration appeared unprepared to accommodate the flood of new drone owners during the holiday season after requiring that Americans register their drones before lift off.
The FAA shut down its registration page twice within two days after it launched last Monday because of high traffic.
Perhaps this is a lesson for us on the right.  It appears that in some cases, the best way to expose big government is not to resist it, but to comply with it.  Read the full story.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Asteroid Impacts Not Expected For 2016

No, the Sweet Meteor Of Death (SMOD) will not be hitting the earth in 2016.  As reported by USA Today, two asteroids will indeed pass within "several million miles" of our planet, but that will be as close as they get.  And as they point out, meteors come from comets, not asteroids.

Read the full story.

As for the SMOD meme, blame my side of the aisle.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Great Britain Hit With Floods

While Winter Storm Goliath ravages the United States, our friends across the Big Pond have also been dealing with Mother Nature.  Northern England and parts of Wales have been hit with torrential rains and some resulting floods.  Many streets in the city of York are underwater.

Read more at The Telegraph, BBC News and Sky News.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Fraser The Christmas Dragon

Merry Christmas, everyone.  Here's a little Christmas story I just came across, written by Margo Fallis.
Fraser lived in a huge, but very dark and damp cave, way up in the northeastern part of Scotland. His dark purple scales kept him warm most of the time, but when the snow fell in the heart of winter, he would often get so cold that he would shiver. To make matters worse, Fraser didn’t have any friends. None of the other animals in Thistleberry Glen wanted to be friends with a dragon.
Fraser spent most of his days cooking and baking. This helped keep his cave a bit warmer. He was quite a good cook too. He made the best caramel shortbread in the whole glen. On days when he went down to the river for a drink, if he was lucky enough to see a fish or two, he’d catch them with his sharp claws, take them back to the cave, and make fishcakes. He’d add a little onion and mashed potatoes and fry them up to perfection.
Read the rest at Electric Scotland.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Some Stories Before Christmas

'Tis two days before Christmas, here at Bigfoot's Place
The Sasquatch is stirring, at an uneven pace
The Bigfootmobile will soon travel south
Where Feet of all sizes are running about

I may not post much in the days just ahead
Seems too warm and rainy, for reindeer and sled
Merry Christmas, I say, unto each one of youz
I'll leave you with these things, out there in the news:

From Fox News Radio, Rand Paul (R-KY) says that he will not participate in any second tier presidential debate.  (via Bloomberg Politics)

From ABC News, Ben Carson (R-MD), in an Associated Press interview, suggests that his campaign could be undergoing some "personnel changes".  (via Bloomberg Politics)

From the New York Post, the Syrian refugee runaway bride.

From, how to deal with flawed forensic evidence.

From CBS SF Bay Area, a Southwest Airlines flight makes an emergency landing at Oakland International Airport.

From WUIS, the number of deportations in 2015 is the lowest since 2006.

From the Star Tribune, in and around the Minneapolis airport and the Mall of America, Black Lives Matter protesters once again make [bleep]s of themselves.

From the Associated Press, some of those BLM protesters have been arrested.

From Politico, a secret audio tape of Ted Cruz (R-TX) from a recent fundraiser.

From National Review, this year's top 10 constitutional violations by President Obama.

From Frontpage Mag, why it's important to say "Merry Christmas".  (The writer, like the Baby whose birth we're celebrating, is a Jew.)

In Town Hall, Michele Malkin explains how to manufacture an anti-Muslim backlash.

From AOL, Iraqi military forces claim to be close to pushing ISIS out of Ramadi.

From The Jerusalem Post, eleven members of a British Muslim family are kept off an airplane bound for Los Angeles.

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, at my alma mater, Frank Beamer prepares to coach his last football game, while Justin Fuente starts the transition.

And from the New York Daily News, "8 weird and wild Christmas crimes".

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

In DC, Marijuana Becomes Christmas Present

Here's the situation, as explained by The Daily Caller:
Marijuana is legal to possess in Washington, D.C., but it’s still illegal to purchase or sell.
The result, as pointed out by TDC's source, Fox News, is that pot growers are starting to give their product away - as a Christmas present.  Read the full story.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Links

As the last weekend before Christmas approaches, here are some things going on out there:

From CNN, the Democratic National Committee has cut Bernie Sanders (I-VT) off from a voter database in response to his campaign's accessing of confidential information collected by the campaign of Hillary Clinton (D-NY).  (via The Political Insider)

From Breitbart's Big Government, some of the gory details of the recently-pass omnibus bill.

From Fox News, the federal government has lost track of thousands of people whose visas were revoked.

From CNS News, Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has an idea about where to send visa overstayers.

From Jews News, the Israeli dolphin class submarine.

From CBS Pittsburgh, a man answers his cell phone while robbing a bank.  (via the New York Post)

From CBC News, the "weird twists" of the current sitting of the Nova Scotia provincial legislature.

From the Express, ISIS wants to deploy birds as suicide bombers.

From Frontpage Mag, some perspective on the claim that ISIS kills more Muslims than non-Muslims.

From BBC News, the Vatican has confirmed that Mother Theresa will be canonized.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Iran is offering a cash prize for the best Holocaust cartoon.

From Ohio Watchdog, in Ohio, teachers union officials are paid twice what teachers are paid.

From Khaama Press, Afghan forces have retaken Khanshin district from the Taliban.

From The Hill, in a post-debate poll, Donald Trump has taken a small dip, but still leads his GOP rivals.

From the Washington Examiner, what Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in 2013 about legalizing illegal aliens.

From American Thinker, it's time for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) to go.

From Bustle, the 11 best moments from this year's presidential debates.

And from The Telegraph, 11 weird things they learned from their readers in 2015.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

San Bernardino Shooter's Neighbor Charged

The two terrorists are dead, but their accomplice will be getting his day in court.  Enrique Marquez, who once live next door to shooter Syed Farook, and who purchased the two rifles used in the San Bernardino shootings, has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism, illegally purchasing the aforementioned rifles, and immigration fraud.

Read more at The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, KTLA and ABC7.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Saudi Millionaire Successfully Claims "Accidental" Penetration

A Saudi millionaire was cleared of rape at Southwark Crown Court in London, because he convinced the court that he may have "accidentally penetrated" his 18-year old accuser when he fell onto her.  His bodily fluid, which was present either on his hand or his male part, was found inside her.

The Saudi man, who lived in the London neighborhood of Maida Vale, met a 24-year-old woman, whom he already knew, and the 18-year-old at a night club.  Afterwards, he took them to his apartment, offered them both some vodka, and had sex with the 24-year-old while the 18-year-old slept on his couch.  All of that, from what I can tell, was not in dispute.  Later on, the 18-year-old woke up to allegedly finding him trying to penetrate her, which he claimed was accidental.

How, exactly, does a man accidentally penetrate a woman's private parts?  Did he really fall over, and while catching himself, did his hand or his male organ just happen to not only contact that particular place, but also penetrate into it?  According to the court, that's what we're supposed to believe.  Read more at the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Metro and The Telegraph.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Interesting, Isn't It?

Let me get this straight.  High-school administrators in Massachusetts learned what a student put on social media, and disciplined her for it, but our federal DHS could not, and apparently would not look at terrorist Tashfeen Malik's posts on social media, when she was applying for a visa.  OK, I'll concede that these two things weren't from the same level of government, but it makes you wonder if maybe someone's got their priorities mixed up.

UPDATE:  Here's a similar item, involving the online activities of teenagers in Ohio.  According to EAG News, some students in Patalaska, Ohio set up an anti-Hillary Clinton super Pac and were visited by someone from the DHS.  Unlike the above-reported incident in Massachusetts, the Ohio students were not disciplined by their own school administration or local government, but by the same DHS that did not look at Tashfeen Malik's social media posts.  (This item comes via the eponymous blog of Dr. Rich Swier.)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bergdahl To Face Court Martial

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who left his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, was captured by the Taliban, and returned in exchange for five Taliban officials, will face a court martial on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.  He faces a possible sentence of life imprisonment.

Read more at The Washington Post, ABC News, CNN, The New York Times and Army Times.

Which Is It?

Two items, both appearing recently in Yahoo News and then put into the same post on Twitter by someone I follow, allege opposite effects from the same cause.  According to one story, which credits Live Science as its source, melting glaciers resulting from global warming might cause the earth to rotate faster.  According to the other, which lists Reuters as its source, the melting of glaciers "appears to be causing a slight slowing of the Earth's rotation".  Apparently, if sometime in the future, the earth's rotation has become either slower or faster, global warming will be blamed.

Read the stories at the two links above and decide for yourself.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Links

As I return from another round of Christmas shopping, here are some things in the news:

From The Washington Times, the controversial immigration law enacted by Arizona hasn't resulted in very many deportations.

From the Independent Journal, an Australian man wears a burqa to conduct a social experiment.

In the New York Post, Amir Taheri opines that liberals should "stop flattering Islam".

From NewsBusters, John Kerry appears on Meet The Press.

From the Sunday Express, ISIS releases a video in which they imagine themselves attacking Rome.

From NBC News, the parents of a man charged with firebombing a mosque say that he's a loner.

From The Roanoke Times, their own Sunday links, mainly about Virginia Tech football.

In National Review, Kevin Williamson points out that like Obama, a president Trump or Cruz will likewise "have a pen and a phone".

From Entrepreneur in Chief, some information on COP21.

From CNN, presidential candidate Ben Carson (R) sharpens his attacks on fellow candidate Ted Cruz (R).

From CNS News, France holds regional run-off elections.

From BBC News, at least four women have been elected to municipal councils, in the first election in Saudi Arabia in which women could even vote.

From Fox News, Ted Cruz holds a narrow lead over Donald Trump among Republican candidates in polls of likely caucus-goers in Iowa, while Hillary Clinton leads among Democrats.

From the Independent, Donald Trump calls for Saudi Arabia to take in refugees.

From Pantagraph, Conor McGregor wins the undisputed featherweight UFC title, in 13 seconds.

In American Clarion, a 15-year-old guest author asks, "Protect the citizens or the terrorists?"

From Yahoo News, thousands of Poles march in support of their new government.

And from The Blaze, a humorous video entitled "Burglars for Gun Control".

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Slavery" Ring Convicted In England

Members of a human trafficking ring operating in and around Huddersfield, UK, whose actions have been described as "slavery", have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing.  From The Huddersfield Daily Examiner:
Kirklees Council’s human trafficking team played a part in smashing a Huddersfield ‘slavery’ gang, it has emerged.
Officials from the council’s safeguarding division uncovered intelligence that allowed police to snare Lockwood woman Nisa Ul Haq and her accomplices.
Ul Haq, a qualified legal worker, was convicted last week of human trafficking using three Huddersfield firms.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court heard the workers were often from a poor background and promised well-paid work in a tailors, giving them the hope of education for their children and a home in the UK.
Huddersfield is located in West Yorkshire, between Mansfield and Leeds.  Read the full story.

Women Vote In Saudi Arabia

For the first time ever, women in Saudi Arabia are voting in their country's local elections and have stood as candidates.  From what I've been able to gather, this is only the third time the kingdom has held elections.

Read more at Sky News, The Telegraph, BBC News, The Jerusalem Post and NBC News (who list Reuters as their source).

In a related development reported by The Jerusalem Post, Uber is offering women (who in Saudi Arabia still aren't allowed to drive) free rides to polling places.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Music Break

Once again, one of these has definitely become overdue.  Here are a few songs that I've either known for a while, or discovered recently.  First up are the original Eagles with a live performance of Early Bird, which features guitarist Bernie Leadon on lead vocals and banjo, with Glenn Frey on slide guitar, Randy Meissner on bass and Don Henley on drums.  The instrumental that starts at around 3:20 is not present in the studio version.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

College Students Demand That Building Is Renamed

It's sad but true that among college students, young people that we normally expect to be reasonably intelligent, teh stoopid is alive and well.  From Penn Live:
A Depression-era Lebanon Valley College leader with the last name Lynch has found himself thrust into the middle of a roiling 21st-century debate on campus civil rights. 
Students at the private college in Annville have demanded administrators remove or modify Dr. Clyde A. Lynch's last name, as it appears on a campus hall, due to the associated racial connotations.
In fairness to Penn Live and Lebanon Valley College, I must point out that article includes some common sense rejoinders to the students' demands, such as:
A commenter going by the screen name "10xchamps," who identified himself as a recent graduate of the college, said "Anyone with half a brain would know that the name has nothing to do with racial connotations. It's the last name of a very generous donor who probably helped fund many of these students."
The name "Lynch" is not uncommon, and was certainly around before an uncapitalized version of it became a term for extra-judicial hangings, commonly (but not exclusively) of blacks.  Determining which is which shouldn't be too difficult.  Wait 'til these kids look at a map and find Lynchburg, Virginia or Lynchburg, Tennessee.  And what happens in the future if anything is named after our current Attorney General?  Read the full story.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Links

Some things going on out there:

From WNCN, in Florida, a woman stealing packages from her neighbors turns out to be a cop's wife.

From Crain's Chicago Business, Chicago Mayor Raum Emanuel will speak today about his city's police department.

From Reason, in California, an initiative to legalize marijuana gains support.

From the New York Post, the winner of Time magazine's "Person Of The Year" award ist eine Deutsche Frau.

From the Los Angeles Times, Californians rush to the gun stores.

From the South Bend Tribune, gun sales around South Bend get a bump upwards.

From Breitbart's Big Goverment, this past April, an armed Uber driver stopped a mass shooting, and other stories.

In Townhall, Ken Blackwell says "Stop terrorists from killing Americans, not Americans from owning guns."

From Frontpage Mag, "Meet the Farooks: a modern jihad family."  (This is not a parody of The Flintstones theme song, but sure sounds like it.)

From WUIS, a showdown in Seoul between police and Buddhist monks.

From the Daily Mail, policemen in London confirm American presidential candidate Donald Trump's assertion that their city has Islamic "no-go" zones.

From Wired, a football mouthguard that can detect dehydration and head injuries.

From the Chicago Tribune, Volkswagen's CO2 emissions problem has turned out to be much smaller than initially suspected.

From Mashable, photos of this year's volcanic eruptions.

From USA Today, American presidential candidate Ben Carson (R) talks about having roots in Kenya, but can't quite get his geography straight.

From The Hill, an opinion piece asserts that under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, China will "write the rules".

From Vox, a review of the novel Welcome To Night Vale.

And from WGN, a 101-year-old woman plays in the snow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

You're Going To Prison, Charlie Brown

It's not the cartoon character, nor anyone in real life with the name Charlie Brown, but the man who portrayed the voice of Charlie Brown, who will be spending some time in the big house.  From Fox News:
A former child actor who was the voice of Charlie Brown in beloved "Peanuts" TV specials was sentenced to nearly five years in prison Monday for making criminal threats.
Peter Robbins, 59, pleaded guilty last month to sending threatening letters to a manager at a mobile home park in suburban Oceanside, where he lived. He also sent letters to members of the media in which he offered to pay money to have San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore killed.
Instead of parents or teachers, that muted horn "wah-wah-wah" is going to come from prison guards.  Read the full story.

Monday, December 7, 2015

1994 Memo, From A Democrat, Discouraged More Gun Control

While browsing through my timeline on Twitter, I came across an item relevant to the gun control debate, which I believe raises a legitimate question about the motives of some who favor a greater degree of control over the private ownership of firearms.  The item was an image, but contained text referring to a story in The Washington Times, and provided its url.  So with some typing (but leaving off the final "?page=all"), I was able to look up the story, about a memo sent in 1994 by former White House Press Secretary Jody Powell, who had worked for President Carter, to George Stephanopoulos, who at the time worked for President Clinton.  Here are the first two paragraphs:
Former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos tried to spark a gun debate inside the White House in 1994 over a memo calling for Democrats to be more cognizant of the political consequences of anti-gun policies, according to documents from the Clinton Presidential Library.
The Jan. 1994 memo, by former President Carter's press secretary, was critical of gun control efforts, and Mr. Stephanopoulos tacitly embraced it, saying it "makes a lot of sense." But their entreaties were ignored. President Clinton would instead pursue the assault weapons ban that reignited the gun control debate, turning the issue politically toxic and damaging Democrats for years.
The advice from Mr. Powell essentially boiled down to this:  "It might be a good idea politically to back off on gun control."

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday Links

As Maryland enjoys a sunny but cold first Saturday in December, here are some recent stories in the news:

From The Telegraph, some migrants are paying up to ₤10,000 to be smuggled into the United Kingdom by yacht, speedboat or small plane.  (This is something that might be appropriate to bring up the next time someone alleges that migrants going to Europe are poor and oppressed.)

From Judicial Watch, five Middle Eastern men have been apprehended in Arizona, while carrying metal cylinders.

In Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz asks, "How many Tashfeen Maliks have we brought in?"

From the Daily Mail, a sticker found in the San Bernardino terrorists' apartment reveals a link to a mosque in New York.

From Yahoo News, ISIS claims that the San Bernardino terrorists were their followers.

From the Los Angeles Times, the Christmas party attended by Syed Farook began with a trivia game.

From Fox News, ISIS in Libya is training pilots.

From the Chicago Tribune, violence has damped the Christmas spirit in the place where Christmas originated.

From The Times Of India, six are injured by a bomb at a Hindu gathering in Bangla Desh.

From the Express, how Sharia courts in Britain "sanction misogyny and marital abuse".

From Valley News Live, a man accused of rape in North Dakota allegedly said "Allah akbar" during the assault.

From Townhall, a hypothetical question for Hillary Clinton.

From BBC News, the delegates at COP21 agree to the text of a draft deal.

From The P.C. Graveyard, Attorney General Loretta Lynch is challenged by Joe Walsh (no, not the Eagles guitarist).

From The Roanoke Times, the Atlantic Coast Conference's collection of new football coaches.

From WUIS, organist Cameron Carpenter call the instrument "an object of pure mathematics".

From the Independent Journal, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) posts her family's very well-armed Christmas card.

And from the eponymous blog of Dr. Rich Swier, ISIS calls for holy war on climate change deniers.  (This is satire, but I wonder if some climate change believers might welcome such a development.)

Friday, December 4, 2015

FBI Treating San Bernardino Attack As "Terrorism"

The FBI is now treating the San Bernardino massacre as "an act of terrorism", reportedly because the female shooter Tashfeen Malik pledge allegiance to the Islamic State on the day of the attack.

Read more at CNN, The New York Times, and MSN News, who list Reuters as their source.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

More On The San Bernardino Attack

A few news items and opinion pieces concerning yesterday's shootings in San Bernardino, California:

From CNN, Syed Farook was in contact "with people being investigated by the FBI for international terrorism", who apparently "radicalized" him.

From the Daily Mail, a follow-up report even more extensive than what they put out yesterday.

From NBC News, the attackers left a remote-controlled bomb behind at the Inland Regional Center, and had a controller similar to that used two years ago in the Boston Marathon bombing.  (via The Daily Caller)

From The Washington Times, the attackers stockpiled over 5,000 rounds of ammunition and 15 pipe bombs.

From National Review, "the ten dumbest things" said about the attack.

In Frontpage Mag, David Horowitz writes that the attack "was entirely predictable".

From Bloomberg Politics, President Obama says that the shootings "was possibly a terrorist attack".

From the Washington Examiner, the FBI says that it's "premature" to call the shootings terrorism.

From CNS News, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, is much more certain.

From the New York Post, earlier this year, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik had been given a baby shower by their co-workers.

From Breitbart's Big Government, Farook and Malik lived near San Bernardino in Redlands, which has been chosen as a possible area for Syrian refugee resettlement.

And from Fox News, federal investigators probe the attackers' "digital profile" for clues.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mass Shooting In San Bernardino

I'll admit that I'm not the first to say this, but here we go again.  At least one gunman has shot 20 people, 12 fatally, in San Bernardino, California, in the general vicinity of the Inland Regional Center, which serves people having developmental disabilities.  Various reports indicate that there may be as many as three attackers.

Read more at KGTV, the Los Angeles Times, NBC Los Angeles, CBS Los Angeles and KTLA.

UPDATE:  Some of the above linked reports now indicate 14 dead and 14 others wounded.

UPDATE 2:  The number of wounded is now reported to be 17.  One of the suspects has been reported either dead or "down", with at least one other still at large.  The shootings reportedly began at a holiday gathering at the Inland Regional Center.  The shooters fled in a dark-colored van that was later riddled with bullets and swarmed by police.

UPDATE 3:  The Washington Examiner reports that police have killed two of the three suspects.

UPDATE 4:  The two dead attackers have been identified as Syed Farook, who was born in Illinois, and Tashfeen Malik, originally from Pakistan.  They were husband and wife, and had met online.

UPDATE 5:  The Daily Mail has a rather extensive report, including quite a few pictures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fish In The Streets Of Miami?

So said our Climatologist-In-Chief, in a speech at the current climate change conference in Paris.  A transcript of the relevant sentence, from Grabien:
You go down to Miami and when it's flooding at high tide on a sunny day, the fish are swimming through the middle of the streets, there's a cost to that.
Watch the video, and if you're in Miami at high tide, be on the lookout for fish in the streets and then tell us if there's any truth to the president's statement.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Former NY Assembly Speaker Convicted Of Seven Offenses

Sheldon Silver (D), who spent over 20 years as the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, has been convicted of honest-services fraud, extortion and money laundering, including all seven counts with which he had been charged.  He now faces up to 130 years in prison.  The conviction means that he forfeits his seat in the Assembly, representing part of Manhattan, which he had held for nearly 40 years.  He had stepped down from the Speaker's office when he was arrested this past January.

Read more at the New York Post, The New York Times, the New York Daily News, CBS New York and Reuters.

Hillary Clinton Gets Scrutinized

(H/T Sue from New Mexico, who posted this on Twitter)

In the latest video from PJMedia, John Phillips, Scott Ott and Steven Kruiser contrast Hillary Clinton's insistence that sexual assault victims should be believed and supported with her own behavior when her husband was accused of sexual misconduct.

For those old enough to remember how some Republicans were denounced as hypocrites during the Clinton Impeachment because they had had affairs at some point earlier in their lives, shouldn't Hillary face the same scrutiny?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Links

Here are some things going on, as the last Sunday in November rolls around:

From WGN, while walking on a path in Compton, California, two women find a live newborn baby.

From Bizpac Review, the agenda to "erase America".

From Sputnik International, Turkey arrests two generals and a colonel for intercepting trucks bound for Syria.

From NBC News, as the COP21 climate summit approaches, protesters in Paris clash with police.  Protest in other world cities, on the other hand, have been mostly peaceful.

From Fox News, a Planned Parenthood official claims that the Colorado Springs shooter opposed abortion.

From The Washington Times, Planned Parenthood officials apparently blame "hateful speech" for the Colorado Springs shootings.

From American Thinker, Hungary (with some help from Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) shows how to secure a border.

From TechSideline, in football, Virginia Tech makes it 12 in a row over Virginia.
FOLLOW-UP: From The Roanoke Times, VT announces their next football coach.

From The Indian Express, an Sunni Islamic leader in India calls gender equality "against Islam".  (via The Express Tribune)

From the Sunday Express, in a small Swedish village, tensions between residents and refugees become violent.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an immigrant from Morocco who drives a taxi is shot after he drops off his passenger.

From Arutz Sheva, a Muslim preacher accuses Europeans of "plundering" Muslim lands.

From The Clarion Project, Kenya arrests two Iranian spies allegedly planning a terror attack.

From Real Clear Politics, Senators McLame (R-AZ) and Grahamnesty (R-SC) say that Arab countries would contribute to fighting ISIS "if you put Assad on the table".

From CBS Sports, the Chiefs-Bills game is hindered by weird weather and a broken bus.

And from the New York Post, your royal dose of cuteness.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Details Emerge About The Colorado Springs Shooter

Some information has come out about the man who killed three people and injured several others in or near a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs.  He has been identified as Robert Lewis Dear Jr., a resident of Hartsell, Colorado.  He has previously lived in South Carolina and North Carolina, with arrest records in both states.  While being questioned by police, he reportedly said "no more baby parts" in reference to Planned Parenthood.  He was not known to a pro-life group that has been meeting for Mass twice a week near the facility.  On his Park County, CO voter registration, Dear is listed as "unaffiliated" and "female".

The policeman killed in the attack was Garrett Swasey.  The victims do not include any employees or patients of the PP facility.

For more detailed info, go to AOL, Breitbart's Big Government and the Gateway Pundit.

ISIS Gets Quacked

No, not hacked, quacked.  For reasons known perhaps only to the pranksters themselves, various Internet users have photoshopped toy duck heads onto pictures of ISIS fighters.  As far as I can tell, famous ducks such as Donald, Daffy, Howard and the AFLAC spokesduck have yet to give their opinions on this matter.

Read the story at The Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Active Shooter In Colorado Springs

In Colorado Springs, a gunman has shot and injured three police officers and is still reportedly active, although "contained".  The shooter is either near or in a Planned Parenthood facility, from which police received a 911 call.  Any connection between the shooter and PP is not yet known.  The shopping center in which the PP facility is located has been placed under lockdown.

Read more at The Gazette, KRDO, The Denver Post, USA Today and CNN.

UPDATE:  The gunman has surrendered and has been taken into custody.  At least 4 policemen and 5 civilians have been injured.

UPDATE 2:  One police officer and two civilians have been killed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane

Earlier today, a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 was shot down by shot down by Turkish F-16s as it allegedly flew through Turkish airspace.  After its two pilots bailed out, the plane crashed in Syria.  The pilots are now believed to be dead or captured by Syrian rebels.  Russian officials have claimed that the jet was flying entirely over Syrian territory, while Turkish officials claim that the pilots were warned before being targeted.

Read more at YNetNews, BBC News, Gulf News, Reuters and the Daily Mail.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Deja Vu And Other Stories

This first item might appear to be satirical, but instead it's what the recently-departed Yogi Berra would have called "deja vu all over again".  The rise of Hitler and Mussolini was caused in part by (you guessed it) global warming.  Read more at Real Science and Climate Depot.

In today's news and opinion:

In American Thinker, Lloyd Marcus warns about playing nice with evil.  (Marcus is a talented singer.  I once talked to him at a Tea Party rally in 2010 in Harrisburg, PA.)

From Fox News, four types of food that will aggravate your cold or flu.

From the New York Daily News, in a bureaucratic snafu, 150 passengers on a flight from Mexico were allowed to leave JFK Airport without going through customs.  (If you ask me, this would be analogous to what we let border-jumpers get away with, so in a sense, airport security was just being consistent with that sort of thing.)

From Bloomberg Politics, in a recent poll, Hillary Clinton (D) beats Donald Trump (R) as to who would be more trusted in handling terrorism.  (I would probably agree that Hillary would be better, or more precisely, less bad in handling terrorism simply because unlike the Don, she has some actual government experience.)

From The Washington Free Beacon, and speaking of the Clintons, their foundation's Colombia-based equity fund is unregistered in that country.

From Real Clear Politics, Hillary's successor as Secretary of States says "ISIS is not ten feet tall."

From National Review, the left's denial of "some obvious facts of life".

From Frontpage Mag, more denial, this time from multiculturalists.

From the Epoch Times, the chief of the D.C. police has a message for citizens.

From CBS News, and back to global warming, the Antarctic ice sheet is growing even in an allegedly warming world.

From Prophesy Watch, Christian refugees are being are being "left out in the cold".

From The Washington Times, the Kenyan president has declared corruption to be a national security threat.  (No, you birthers, I'm not talking about Obama, and he's only half Kenyan.)

From Canada Free Press, did the UN's COP21 send a message to ISIS?

From the Washington Examiner, while bombing ISIS fuel trucks, American forces ran out of ammo.

From TechCrunch, Google launches Android Studio 2.0.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Brussels Continues To Be On Lockdown

For the second day, Brussels, Belgium has been on lockdown as police search for terror suspects.  So far, six suspects have been arrested.  Police have placed heavy guard around the Radisson Blu hotel, whose counterpart in Bamako, Mali was attacked by terrorists several days ago.  The state of emergency will continue into Monday, with schools being closed.  Read about these developments at The Guardian, The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, the Independent and the Metro.

UPDATE:  From Yahoo News, make that 16 suspects arrested.

UDPATE 2:  From AOL, five more have been arrested, make that 21 in all.

Fort Necessity And Braddock's Grave

Fort Necessity National Battlefield is a historical park in southwestern Pennsylvania, most of its units being located along U.S. Highway 40.  The main unit includes a visitors center and the reconstructed namesake fort.  The original fort was built in 1754 under the command of a young British officer named George Washington, and destroyed by French troops after they and their Indian allies defeated the British in the Battle of Great Meadows and then allowed them to retreat.  This and other skirmishes would turn out to be merely the prelude to the French and Indian War, in which the British were victorious.

The reconstructed fort is a short walk from the visitors center.  On the hill behind the fort is Mount Washington Tavern, another unit of the park, which may be reached either by trails from the fort or by driving westward on U.S. 40 from the visitors center.

Inside the fort is this one small wooden building.

The fort is mostly surrounded by earthworks.  I don't know if the cannon is authentic to the period, or how many of them the British had during the fort's brief existence.

About a mile west of the visitor's center and fort is the grave of British General Edward Braddock, who after the surrender and destruction of Fort Necessity led a British force toward the French stronghold of Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh).  The British were again defeated and Braddock was killed.  After Washington presided at Braddock's funeral, the general was buried underneath a road which had been previously been built under their command.  Today, the road passes just to the left of this marker, looking west.

The stairways on both sides of the road were closed, but another walkway led to the actual grave.  In 1804, General Braddock's remains were discovered and re-interred.  In 1913, this monument was built over his final resting place.

Westward and downhill from the roadside marker seen above is another marker, indicating where General Braddock was originally buried.

The Mount Washington Tavern and Jumonville Glen units of the park were closed.  To learn more, go here, here, here and here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Syrians With Fake Greek Passports Arrested In Sint Maarten

Earlier this week, three Syrians carrying fake Greek passports were arrested at the Princess Juliana International Airport on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten, which is part Dutch and part French.  They had arrived on an Air Insel flight from Haiti.  Since another group of Syrians with fake Greek passports were recently arrested in Honduras, I wonder if something might be going on here.  Or would such suspicions be (gasp!) islamophobic?

Read more at the Curaçao Chronicle (which had it first), Yahoo News and the Daily Mail.

The above-mentioned airport is noted for the western end of its runway being close to a beach, where quite a few idiots people have subjected themselves to jet exhaust.  In the interests of full disclosure, I visited Sint Maarten and several of its beaches over 20 years ago, but not the one near the airport.

Friday, November 20, 2015

ISIS Booby-Traps Dolls

Here is yet another example of how disgustingly sick ISIS is.  Iraqi security forces have discovered and destroyed bombs hidden inside dolls, assembled by ISIS to target pilgrims, in this case very young pilgrims, on the way to Karbala to celebrate the Shiite festival of Arbaeen.

Read more at the Daily Mail and the International Business Times.

Terrorists Attack Hotel In Mali

In Bamako, Mali, terrorists took hostages at the Radisson Blu hotel, reportedly killing up to 27 people, before special forces stormed the building and ended the crisis.  All 22 Americans at the hotel were safely rescued.  Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its offshoot al-Murabitoun have claimed responsibility.

Read more at CNN, BBC News, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Mail and the Hindustan Times.

UPDATE:  The Blaze reports that one American was killed.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Robotic Cat

It's pretty common for children to have toy animals, but I recently ran across a video of a robotic cat apparently intended for elderly adults, put on YouTube by a user called DamnGeeky.  The video shows the "cat" moving its front paws, and emitting reasonable facsimiles of the purr and meow sounds made by real cats.
This is not satire from The Onion.  According to Toyland, The Verge and Mashable, this is a real product.  In my not-so-humble opinion, I think it might be worth having if it can catch mice, climb trees, and unravel balls of string, but the only advantage it has over real cats is that it doesn't need a litter box.  But if you want one, go here.

Some Refugee-Related News

Here are some developments in the refugee situation, from both sides of the Atlantic:

From Politico, a GOP-written bill to bar Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the United unless they pass stricter background checks has been passed with 289 votes, said to be a veto-proof majority.

From The New York Times, the Prime Ministers of France and Belgium are seeking stronger security measures.

From The Blaze, a Bloomberg poll shows that most Americans oppose White House plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees without religious screening.

From The Washington Free Beacon, an advisor to Vice President Biden has a different opinion.

From the Daily Surge, five Syrians with fake Greek passports have been arrested in Honduras.

And from Weasel Zippers, pictures of the fake Greek passports.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Links

Here in the middle of the week, which is known to the Germans as Mittwoch, to the Poles as Środa (which is similar to środek, their word for "center"), and to college students as "hump day", here are some items of news and opinion:

From AOL, French police searching for the mastermind of the terror attacks in Paris raid an apartment in Saint-Denis, resulting in seven arrests and two dead, one of them being a suicide bomber who blew herself up.

From The Guardian, a police dog was killed in the raid.  (via The Daily Caller)

From the Express, eight suspected ISIS terrorists posing as refugees have been arrested at the Istanbul airport.

From the Daily Mail, at least 66 people have been arrested in the United States on ISIS terror-related charges, including some refugees.

From National Review, why it's not bigoted to be wary of Syrian refugees.

From Frontpage Mag, President Obama has strategy for defeating America.

From the Washington Examiner, the House prods Obama to get tougher with ISIS.

From NewsBusters, former Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge (R) criticizes Obama's policy toward ISIS.

From Commentary, Secretary of State John Kerry's "unique feat of moral equivalency".

From The Blaze, after black protesters harass white students in Dartmouth's library, the university's provost apologizes - to the protesters.

From, how to eliminate duplicate government benefit payments.

From Wired, Congress passes the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act.

From the Mirror, ISIS claims that a drink can bomb brought down the Russian jet, and releases a picture of such a bomb.

From the Independent, Anonymous's attack on ISIS has resulted in people being wrongly identified with the terrorist group.

From the Daily Surge, fans at a soccer game in Turkey interrupt a moment of silence for the victims in Paris with chants of "allahu akbar".

From The Washington Free Beacon, nearly 30,000 Cubans have entered Texas from Mexico.  (via Political Pistachio)

From the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon wins the NL Manager of the Year award.

From NBC Chicago, three cities in Illinois have been named "drunkest in state".

From The Texas Tribune, an alleged sexual assault involving two grad students at Texas A&M and the school's reaction have led to a federal investigation.  (via Pundit Press)

From The Jerusalem Post, the supervisor of the Western Wall has refused a request made by three female members of the Knesset to have a hanukkia placed in the female section of the Wall.

And from the Catholic Herald, according to a report not yet confirmed by the Vatican, Mother Theresa is scheduled to be canonized.  (via LifeNews)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sideling Hill

Sideling Hill is a mountain ridge in western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, over which Interstate 68 runs, about a mile south of the MD-PA border.  Even with a notch carved out of the top of the ridge, the uphill climb from either direction on I-68 can require quite a bit of effort from your car's engine.  Just east of the notch is a rest stop, which includes an exhibit center and a pedestrian bridge over the highway.  From the bridge, I took a picture of the north face of the notch, above the westbound lanes.  You can see the various layers of rock and how they're bent, which probably occurred as the Appalachian mountains were thrust upward.  The stairway to the right leads up toward the rocks.

Here's the exhibit hall, with the pedestrian bridge to the left.  It may be reached by a stairway behind the building, with its end, from this angle, behind and to the right.  The bridge and a path at its southern end lead to a rest stop for the eastbound lanes.

Looking east, we see some low hills and valleys, and some higher hills in the distance, which could be South Mountain or the Blue Ridge.

For more information on Sideling Hill, go here and here.  For more on Interstate 68, go here.

Soccer Game Cancelled After Bomb Threat

In Hanover, Germany, a soccer match between the German and Dutch national teams was cancelled after an ambulance packed with explosives was found outside the stadium.  One man has been arrested about a kilometer away.  The stadium and a nearby music arena were evacuated.

Read more at the Mirror, Yahoo News, 9News and SportsKeeda.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

France Strikes Back At ISIS

Earlier today, French warplanes struck ISIS positions in Raqqa, Syria.  Targets included a command and control center, a munitions dump, and a jihadi training camp.

Read more at the Daily Star, the Independent, Russia Today, Sky News and Fox News.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Some Stories After The Attack

A few stories have come out in the aftermath of yesterday's terror attacks in Paris.

From Yahoo News, the Eiffel Tower went dark tonight as a Paris mourns the dead and investigators try to track down the terrorists' accomplices and networks.

From Fox News, police in Belgium have arrested three people.  A rented car with Belgian plates had been seen near the Bataclan concert hall.

From the Miami Herald, ISIS claims responsibility as French authorities worry that up to 50 people involved in supporting the attack may still be at large.

From WND, French President François Holland promises a "merciless" response.

And from Blic, one of the eight attackers had a Syrian passport, and had traveled through Greece, Serbia, Croatia and Austria.

UPDATE:  Acccording to the Daily Mail, French authorities believe that two of the attackers traveled through Turkey and Greece, before continuing on through Europe to Paris.